I’m looking at my mess. Yup, that mess. Now that Silent Sky is out at Comixology, maybe it’s time to write something that is not a story, but mere ramblings, as I try to start writing down my thoughts on many things including art and stuff.

I’ll start out with Silent Sky. It started out as a novel, a half-baked yet completed novel (120k words or so) that I could have easily reworked and shopped around. The problem was, no one really wanted to publish it. But I had a story and I wanted it published… so I did a comic book.

The story of Silent Sky came from a lot of L5R and Exalted (2nd Edition) sessions, a chance encounter with the Monkey King in his Journey to the West, and Lone Wolf & Cub. Not that The Book of Silent Sky mirrors the way Journey to the West is told, but more of making an Asian fantasy adventure amid a genre dominated by Western fantasy. Don’t get me wrong – I love Western fantasy, but there’s too many out there that I just had to deviate.

My love for Asian fantasy came about sometime in 1983 when I first watched Legend of the Eight Samurai in a cinema. It is a loose adaptation of Nanso Satomi Hakkenden, a Japanese epic novel written within the period of nearly thirty years. The Lord of the Rings introduced me to fantasy, but it was the memory of watching the Legend of the Eight Samurai that enticed me to further explore the fantasy literature of Asia. Soon I became immersed with the lore found in this region with an in-depth orientation to the bodies of work featured in films and anime. Ninja Scroll is one of my favorites, so is Onmyoji (film) and Sword of the Stranger (though not fantasy, the sword-work is simply divine), and the list goes on and on (of which includes Mirai Ninja, Lone Wolf and Cub & Yojimbo (again not fantasy but the kenjutsu is just breathtaking), Storm Riders and The Legend of Zu). But that’s just half of the story on why I wanted to write the lore of Silent Sky and create the world of Soraya.

Half of my inspiration that led to The Book of Silent Sky are my encounters with the myths and legends around the region. Poems like The Ramayana, the Epic of Gilgamesh and Journey to the West have inspired my zest to come up with the gods of Soraya which I will explore in the further issues. Not to mention the creatures found in the lore of the Kojiki and the stories in A Thousand and One Nights slowly helped me create facets and structures that will later define the whole world where Silent Sky will roam. Oh, and yes, don’t forget the dragons! They will be the eastern types, of course: flying serpents!

(It’s raining here, by the way, while I’m writing this.)

A part of the story telling in Silent Sky is fuelled by the stories of Moorcock and Leiber and the never ending adventures of the heroes of the Sword and Sorcery sub-genre. Yes, I think I can say The Book of Silent Sky is a Sword and Sorcery fantasy comic book influenced by a lot of anime, samurai action and a whole bunch of those wuxia stuff!

I started the outline for Silent Sky many years ago. I even used the name in a session of Dungeons and Dragons. Now that I look back at it, the character has become synonymous with my encounters in the comic book industry. Back in my heyday, when I was young and brash and arrogant, I thought that I could make it out as a writer and as an artist. I was wrong! But I never gave up, and so after twenty or so years, here it is – my comic book!

So there you go. Most of these words are in the first issue. I just felt that I had to put it here to let you know how I came about with Silent Sky. So now I invite you to come along and travel with Sky and his adventures in the world of Soraya. Until the next time, may the gods shower you with divine favours!